I know I shouldn't be at this point, but every so often I'm amazed at the extent to which Christians (especially Catholics) will delude themselves in order to fit in as good Americans.
Modern America requires Christians to profess falsehood: that their religion is essentially false and therefore unworthy of being entertained on the public stage. The atheist/agnostic will say, of course, that it requires no such thing, that it simply requires them to profess that while they may believe their religion to be true, they cannot know their religion is true, and thus they have no right to act in accordance with their belief by demanding that the state establish and protect their religion. Usually, the rationale is epistemic weakness.
(Peter Drucker made this argument. It's about 75% of the reason I disowned him. It never even occurred to him to question whether or not it was actually true).
But Christians can know their religion is true: they inherited it directly from God Himself. He came down from Heaven in the form of a man and told us of our obligations to Him. If you don't believe that, you aren't a Christian at all. So to say they can't profess belief in the fundamental reality of their religion is to say their religion is false: that a central claim it makes is false. And to require them to act according to this belief is to require them to jettison their faith entirely.
Thus the visceral horror to which, for instance, otherwise good Catholics react when a fellow Catholic (like myself) says, "The state ought to formally establish Catholicism" (or at least "mere Christianity"). Chritsianity may be true, they say, but we only believe it's true, and other people don't believe it!
Well, those people are wrong. That's all. And there is no right to falsehood and error.
Anyway, when did "belief" come to mean something less than fact? Belief is the adherence of the intellect and will to a perceived truth. We all believe the sky is blue, for instance. Because it's blue.
"But what if they take control and outlaw your religion because they believe it's false!"
They do that all the time, though. Why should we unilaterally disarm? (Not that we're talking about outlawing competing religions; such confusion over the historical norm of religious establishment is woefully common nowadays).
And who cares, anyway? We preach Christianity because it's true, not because the state graciously permits us to do so without harrassment. If the state decides to martyr us for not playing along, well, we will be glorified in Heaven and God will avenge our blood. If you don't believe that, you're not a Christian, either. You're just a liar, going to church every week to set a good example for the kids or to keep up appearances (or something). Your real religion is comfort, and you will be stripped of every last speck of it when your soul is dropped into Hell.
Proph, Collapse: The Blog 60 Comments
[1/10/2012 3:54:17 AM]
Fundie Index: 70